The hunting lodge in the picture below is appealing to the eye – both inside and out. But building a hunting lodge with its unique layout and aesthetic appeal would have been extremely difficult if the builder, Bill Hardy of W R Hardy Construction Inc. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, hadn’t opted for the flexibility of post-frame construction.
Post-frame construction and the term “pole barn” are interchangeable terms. But the preconceived notion of what a “pole barn” looks like falls by the wayside when you see this beautiful hunting lodge, built using post-frame construction principles.
An Inside-Outside Look
Let’s give you a quick tour before we break down a behind-the-scenes description of how we made this Wick Building post-frame structure possible.
The lodge is divided into three different wings. There is a center space, which serves as a large, open seating area. A large, free-standing stone fireplace juts up in the center of the room.
On one side of the fireplace is a lounge area. Note behind the furniture is a large room with a green floor. That’s home to the lodge’s computerized golf simulator, which includes an artificial turf putting surface and a floor-to-ceiling screen. Plenty of room to swing, wouldn’t you say?
On the other side of the fireplace there is a bar and dining area, with ample seating. Note the wide open space for the entire room. It’s not broken up by vertical columns.
Outside you’ll find a grand entrance porch placed on the front of the hunting lodge, with a similar covered porch that extends off the back of the building. Note the trusses on the overhang. They look like a timber-frame trusses, but they’re a standard king post truss design covered in cedar (concealing the truss plates.)
Off the central area are two wings. These contain the living quarters – a total of nine bedrooms with each bedroom having a private bath. Pictured here is the additional powder room off of the living area.
One wing has the aforementioned golf simulator, the other a full-service professional kitchen.
Now that we’ve given you the tour, let’s fill you in on how the building was created, and why post-frame construction made it possible.
Flexibility to Combine Form with Function
The building definitely has curb appeal. However, during the design phases (which were not handled by Wick) aesthetics were given more consideration than functionality. As a result, Mr. Hardy had to employ the flexibility of post-frame construction to make the following features possible:
- Clear-span truss allows for wide open center area. The vast space in the center of the building allows for both visual appeal and a community feel. Typical studwall construction would have required support walls for the roof separating the spaces and reducing visual sight lines.
- Energy efficiency superior to steel-framed structure. The alternative to post-frame construction would have been a steel-framed construction. However, you would have lost much of the aesthetic appeal (the trusses on the enclosed porch and the steep roof line) as well as the energy efficiency. Steel is a conductor of heat and cold, and would have made insulation of the lodge (located in the Midwest) much more costly. And, as we illustrated in a recent post on insulating post-frame structures, the lack of obstructions within the walls due to wider column spacing allows for higher insulated R-values.
- Flexibility to build around HVAC and water runs. The HVAC system, kitchen exhaust and water runs weren’t integrated into the initial architectural drawings. Because post-frame construction allows for superior flexibility, the builder was able to accommodate ventilation runs and adapt the ceiling hallway to accommodate heating/cooling runs.
- Special I-beam for the golf simulator. A special steel I-beam was inserted to span a column location and support the second floor hall and bedroom.
When building a hunting lodge, many builders instinctively opt for studwall, timber-frame or log construction. However, the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of post-frame construction allows for unique features not possible with other structural framing methods.
It’s a nice marriage of form and function — and another example of how this approach to building continues to manifest in exciting new ways.
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